Hearing and Balance

We provide audiological assessment and care for all children from newborn to school-leaving age living in the East Berkshire catchment area.

We work with children with complex and multiple disabilities, children who are difficult to assess for whatever reason, and children who might be at increased risk of developing a permanent hearing impairment.

Most appointments are offered at King Edward VII and St Mark’s hospitals, although some less complex and more routine appointments can be performed at Upton Hospital and Skimped Hill Health Centre.

We aim to evaluate the hearing levels of your child accurately, and identify any hearing difficulties.

Hearing tests

Some tests require your child to be awake and alert, and require some form of cooperation (behavioural testing). These are mostly used for children over the age of 6 months.

Others require your child to be asleep and needs less cooperation (objective testing) and are usually more appropriate for children below the age of 6 months.

Tests are selected based on observation in the clinic as well as information supplied by parent and referrer.

We aim to identify the nature, degree and extent of any potential hearing impairment as soon as possible. This might be done over a number of sessions to obtain as much accurate information as possible.

If a hearing impairment is identified, we’ll estimate what impact this is likely to have and provide the best possible appropriate audiological support and rehabilitation.

We also work closely with other professionals, including Ear, Nose and Throat consultants, teachers of the hearing impaired, specialist speech and language therapists, paediatricians and Social Services to provide a quality and comprehensive service.

Hearing aids

Fitting hearing aids is also part of our service. Hearing aids for permanent or temporary hearing losses can be fitted to children of any age. We’re also involved with the Newborn Hearing Screening program and can fit appropriate hearing aids to babies as young as 2/3 months old.

NHS hearing aids and hearing aid batteries use up-to-date digital technology and are provided free on the NHS.

If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing, ask your GP or Health Visitor for a referral to our Paediatric Audiology team.

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